Sarah Van Dam’s Racing Update
Last weekend I was down in Enumclaw for their Mutual of Enumclaw Stage Race. This year was the first year they didn’t have youth categories, so I was racing in Cat. 3. At first I didn’t know how I was going to stand against them but I was definitely excited for the challenge. We took Friday off to travel down to the small town. When we arrived I rode the TT course which I was going to be racing the following morning. It was a fairly flat 10km course that was FAST!! The morning of my race, the wind was blowing and it was down pouring, but I was sure excited. Warming up I felt great and ready to pound some watts. Before I knew I was finished, and getting ready for the crit in the afternoon. I was super happy with my finish in the TT coming out of it standing third, which meant I was third in the GC, only 14 seconds back from the leader. Heading into the crit it continued to pour making the eight corner criterium slick and sketchy. Going into the race I knew who I had to beat (I wrote their numbers on my hand) and I knew I had to pick up some time bonus’s to bump me up in the GC. I followed wheels, made breaks and sprinted for the primes coming first, making it a very fun and entertaining race. Looking back I have to say it was my best race I have ever done strategically and mentally. I knew what I had to do and I followed through. Now going into Sunday, the final 75km hilly road race only 4 seconds behind the GC leader made it a blast. At about the 35 km mark I was feeling quite comfortable and attacked on the major 3km hill climb and split the field. I ended up in a group of 5, which shortly after became a group of 4 for the rest of the race. On the final lap, having the GC leader in our break away group and knowing she wasn’t the greatest climber, I pushed the pace on the hill popping the leader off making her chase back on later by herself. It came down to a sprint in the end where I was able to gain enough seconds on the leader to win the road race and overall GC. Overall I had an amazing weekend with so many learning experiences, which I can’t wait to bring to my next race in June. I am feeling super strong leading into provincials which are only a couple weeks away.